May 13, 1994 — the Chicago Bulls are playing the New York Knicks in game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
1.8 seconds to go, the game is tied, and Chicago has possession. The Bulls call a time-out, and Phil Jackson draws up a play for Toni Kukoc. Remember, this is the season without MJ, who’s enjoying his first sabbatical. Naturally, Pippen plays first fiddle, and everyone, including himself, expects him to play first fiddle.
Unfortunately for Scottie, Phil draws an exciting play for the scenario at hand; he selects the ‘Pink Panther’ as the go-to guy to finish the Knicks off. Unable to set his ego aside, Pippen refused to play the remainder of the game and watched the last seconds from the bench.
Pete Myers triggered the inbounds pass to Kukoc who backed into his defender to create space, caught the ball and made a silky smooth turnaround jumper. The Bulls bench jumped Kukoc in celebration and Phil, probably infuriated, walked to the locker room stone cold.
During the post-game press conference, Phil said:
“Now as far as the last play of the game goes, Scottie Pippen was not involved in that play, he asked out of the play, I left him off the floor. That’s as much as I’ll talk about that, and we have practice tomorrow at 11 o’clock.”
The Bulls managed to patch things up, and Scottie played in all of the next games, but this definitely left a mark on his otherwise stunning Bulls legacy. The series went to game seven were the Knicks defeated the Bulls to proceed to the Eastern Conference Finals. They beat the Pacers and ultimately lost to the Houston Rockets for the championship.